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Sprint-T-Mobile Merger: Channel Braces for Impact

Merger rumor

… Justice Department sees it the same way.”

Peter Rysavy, wireless analyst with Rysavy Research, sees the potential merger as beneficial, but challenging.

“A merger of Sprint T-Mobile will provide deeper financial resources and a greater pool of spectrum, which could facilitate 5G deployment, but this will come with the cost of merging two complex networks,” Rysavy told Channel Partners.

The proposed merger’s impact on the channel isn’t immediately clear. T-Mobile teased a new channel program at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in 2014, following that up with a full-blown announcement in July of that year, touting how it would “unleash the benefits of the Un-carrier revolution to U.S. business customers through the partner channel community.”  While still inviting resellers to offers its connected mobility solutions, the company has been largely quiet on the indirect front since.

Sprint, on the other hand, is showing some life. The company had its largest presence in years at this month’s Channel Partners show, introducing Smart UC, its as-a-service voice and UC productiivity suite that’s powered by BroadSoft. The product’s goal is to increase productivity, mobilize a workforce, reduce IT operational costs, streamline processes and more.

Earlier in the year, Sprint struck a deal to use Cox’s broadband infrastructure to improve its backhaul and small-cell deployment opportunities. Sprint told us at the time that the deal will allow it to piggyback on Cox’s existing infrastructure to densify its network — a move that could make the wireless company more attractive to partners.

The companies’ giant commercial rivals, wireless and networking behemoths AT&T and Verizon, have been huge players in indirect sales for years, running some of the channel’s largest partner programs.

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